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2015

March 5th, 2015

So it’s 2015 and this year has been off to a crazy start. I’ve been rebuilding my website from the ground up, I stood up on stage with one of my favorite musicians, and I’ve really pushed forward with the pinball machine. Just wanted to let you know I still function. :)

Long time no updates

November 21st, 2014

I haven’t had much time to work on my pinball machine since the previous post, 2 days ago I resumed working on it. I have no pictures yet but I assure you, it’s being worked on. Sorry for the short update, I just hate the huge gap of no updates.

It’s not what I do say… it’s what I’m not saying… for my pinball.

April 27th, 2014

Flipper Pre insert
I’ve been doing a lot to get my pinball machine together over the past few weeks. Enough where I’m actually neglecting this blog because I’m working. :)

IMG_1379

As I’ve been testing I’ve been posting on my Facebook page(which is kinda weird to do if I’m NOT posting on my blog), mainly because my Facebook is easier to upload to. That is until I fix this website. I have a lot of work to do… I hope I make you proud.

Solenoid Mount

April 6th, 2014
This is a mockup of the solenoid mount used in a Zizzle pinball machine.

This is a mockup of the solenoid mount used in a Zizzle pinball machine.

I didn’t get a chance at the end of March to talk about the project I worked on, because it isn’t being released yet. My buddy and I made a mockup for a game idea we’ve kicked around for the past 3 years. We’re going to do a bit more building off on it hence why I’m not showing it. It’s just not ready yet.
OH! Back to the solenoid mount. So, this weekend I “took it easy” and finally got around to a few projects that I wanted to finish up. The above is a recreated mount for a 24V DC 42N 10mm Open Frame Electronic Solenoid HCNE1-1253 that I plan on using for my pinball machine. I finally got a moment(and the motivation) to work on it a bit this weekend, and here are the results. I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.

So… This happened.

March 14th, 2014

photo

Squidi’s mechanic #035 – Room Conveyor Belt

February 3rd, 2014

I don’t wanna read all that crap edition

Here’s a prototype I made base off Sean Howard’s Room Conveyor Belt Conecpt
Saturday’s completed
Sunday’s completed prototype


There are a few links that take you to external sites. I do not manage the content outside of here
Friday I came home set to work on my pinball machine. I was very clear that I wasn’t going to use the internet or watch tv or do anything that would distract from my goal… I failed horribly at that. 2 hours into this test I had moved on to checking up on something I read in the book and everything spiraled out of control from there. I ended up on Sean Howard’s web site reading over some of his game mechanics. I saw his Conveyor Belt Prototype and thought of how much fun that would be with a little more work done to it. I then embarked on a solo-squidi-jam and decided to make a more complete version of the game over the course of the weekend. I then set out a few guidelines and rules and started from there.


squidiscreenshot

Rules I set for myself

No using flash IDE

I usually use a few base movie clips to do my screens and handle font management. Not this time, I decided to only have one SWF that loaded everything externally. This made for a very bloated project, and it gets worse because…

No modifying, editing, or creating art assets in editor

I decided against modifying any of his artwork that was provided as part of the Free Pixel Project. Which proved to be very challenging. I had to change the way I usually handle art work. With three exceptions, I had to base my game around one character set and one tile set.

  1. I used photoshop to create the map.I read in the maps per pixel
  2. I created the coin and shadow in code pixel by pixel.
  3. I used photoshop to check all of my x/y positions of the tiles that I read in.

Keeping it simple

My mind went 1,000 miles per hour as I was working. All the cool features I wanted to add. All the additional features I wanted to add! All the MORE features I wanted to add! Nope! Had to reel it all back in and figure out what I could actually get done this weekend and do just that. Too many features means I could get overwhelmed and bail on the project. Speaking of which…

Don’t get burned out

I had to make sure I didn’t try and do everything in a single setting. I took breaks. I went and got dinner. I paused to watch a little TV and actually relaxed. I learned a lot from last years Global Game Jam. To keep at a good pace, I made sure to set a stopping point for saturday and a stopping point for sunday. I actually finished earlier Sunday that I originally thought and instead of adding additional features. I just called it a day.

Learn something

This was the hardest thing to do. Because I wanted to make sure I kept it simple, I tried to do everything within my own personal knowledge base. And I wanted to get it done in a timely fashion so I used an existing game engine. Keeping it simple did allow me to reduce the amount of time I had to look up the answer to any problems, but I did hit one road block that caused me to learn something. :)


Yup... it says "Troy"

Yup… it says “Troy”

I found a faster way of dealing with the placement of tiles without having to write really complex algorithms or using a map editor! This allowed me to lay out everything in photoshop and have the game generate all the proper tiles in place that I needed. (Hence how I cheated on the “No external image manipulation…” rule) Here’s a great article on doing bitwise terrain calculations!

What I would have liked to have added

Multiplayer

My brain kept trying to get me to add more. I snuck in a second player, just to see how easy it would be to build off of what I’ve already built. It took me less than 15 minutes (I had to rename a variable here and there)… but I would’ve liked to have seen the game work with four players. It currently being even two players huddled around one keyboard is very difficult.

Trading Card System

I would like to have a system that allows you to pick a series of cards, and the game randomly chooses which cards you have in your “deck” to lay out various parts level. I’ve written down a few ideas I had to expand on this entire concept, but I want to make sure I don’t dump too much out at once.

Better Enemies

Right now the skeletons stick to whichever map they start on. This was in The Prototype this game was based off of. In thinking of the above TCS, I figured it would add a nice balance if the card you chose would only increase the difficulty of that area. But, if I were to expand on this game any further, I had two ideas for enemies…
The Thief
The Thief wouldn’t just compete against you, it would also steal your coins. So if you bumped in to it, it would die but take a percentage of whatever coins you’ve already collected.
The Hunter
The hunter would actively go from space to space in an attempt to find which space you were in. And if it detected you, hunt after until it touched and killed you.

Time attack

There’s a base time that it should take to complete each of the rooms, this is all added together and expanded as a time limit to collect as many coins as you can. This could be fun or frustrating, I’ll possibly play with this in the future.

Accounts (More TCS)

I wanted to create a website and web based accounts so people who play can trade cards that they’ve unlocked with other players. This idea had to quickly go on the back burner because it sounds really expensive for me to develop for a free no revenue generating game.

Map Editor

I wanted to make a map editor. :(

Screens

Right now the game just starts… and ends.

Player Messaging

When the game just ends… it goes right to black. Collecting coins just makes the coin disappear, it would be nice to have some kind of cool effect and all.

Audio

It’s quiet… a little too quiet.

Closing

Thank you for reading this far in to this and not just clicking the link at the top of the post. It really means a lot to me that I got a chance to explain how much fun this project was for me and you stuck around and read. :)

Here’s another link so you don’t have to scroll back up
Sean Howard’s Room Conveyor Belt Conecpt
Saturday’s completed
Sunday’s completed prototype

State Shot Glass project

January 18th, 2014

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For everyone who doesn’t know (I talk about it so much) I’ve been collecting state shot glasses. Whenever I travel, I have to think if I bought a shot glass while I was there before. NOW! I don’t have to wonder any more.

I’ve created an application on my website that allows me to look and see which shot glasses I’ve already purchased (So I can avoid buying a 3rd Texas shot glass >: \) and shot glasses that have been purchased for me.

This game that I’m playing is all about me traveling more and seeing the states. That being said, part of the game is me actually being there, so I’m discouraging people from purchasing state shot glasses and giving them to me.

SO! 11 down 40 to go! (I’m counting Washington D.C. in that list)